National Commission for ST

  • The National Commission for ST (Scheduled Tribes) is also a constitutional body in the sense that it is directly established by Article 338-A of the Constitution.
  • The Commission was established under Article 338 of the Constitution with the objective of monitoring all the safeguards provided for the SCs and STs under the Constitution or other laws.
  • The 89th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 bifurcated the combined National Commission for SCs and STs into two separate bodies, namely, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (under Article 338)and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (under Article 338-A).
  • Came into existence in 2004
    National Commission for ST
  • It consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members.
  • They are appointed by the President by warrant.
  • Their conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the President.
  • In 1999, a new Ministry of Tribal Affairs was created
  • The Commission presents an annual report to the President.

Functions of the National Commission for ST

  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the STs and to evaluate their working;
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the STs;
  • To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the STs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union or a state;
  • To present to the President, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
  • To make recommendations for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the STs.

Powers of the National Commission for ST

  • The Commission, while investigating any matter or inquiring into any complaint, has all the powers of a civil court trying a suit and in particular in respect of the following matters:
    • summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;
    • requiring the discovery and production of any document;
    • receiving evidence on affidavits;
    • requisitioning any public record from any court or office issuing summons for the examination of witnesses and documents; and
    • Any other matter which the President may determine.

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